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Custody & Visitation

Custody & Visitation in Tampa

The Florida family law courts and custody statutes define two separate but linked issues: parenting time (timesharing) and parental responsibility. Timesharing is the time that you are with your child(ren). This used to be considered custody and visitation. Parental responsibility defines who makes the decisions about your child(ren). In most situations, it is shared. However, in some cases, one parent has the final decision for all decision or for certain decisions. Families enter into parenting plans with specific timesharing schedules. Many judges no longer allow vague schedules because of the post-judgment issues they can create. Instead, timesharing schedules should be specific and include details about holidays and school breaks. Parenting plans also address many common issues, such as child support and parental responsibility.

Custody & Visitation Solutions

The attorneys of Open Palm Law will help you to craft a detailed parenting plan that includes specific time for both parents and that addresses all other important issues related to your children. If you are unable to reach an agreement, Open Palm Law can help you argue in court why your desired parenting plan is appropriate.

FAQs for Custody & Visitation

Read the provisions of 61.13(3) to see what you are up against. This is how people are supposed to get along with the other parent and their child, and you cannot go into court and just say you don’t want the father to be in your child’s life. This statute is made to apply in paternity proceedings by the case law. There are many factors that will work for you, and many that can work against you, depending upon what you say and do. Get counsel.

First and foremost, you should thoroughly review your parenting plan to see if there is language governing this situation. It is common practice to include language that instructs the parents how to handle in-state, out-of-state, and international travel. The sections usually contain strict deadlines for the amount of time that needs to be given for advanced notice and may include additional instructions. In the event this was overlooked and is not containing your parenting plan, I would strongly urge you to work collaboratively with your ex because this trip is for the benefit of the child in many ways. Additionally, if the concern is that this will take away some of her time with that parent over the summer, there is nothing to prevent you and your ex from making slight modifications in your time-sharing schedule for the remainder of the year in order to equalize the time between parents in a matter that satisfies both parties. If you can do this, you should be able to avoid having to go to court to litigate this matter because that is always regarded as a last case resort.

In a divorce, child custody should be determined according to what is in the best interest of the child. More and more judges are now ordering 50/50 timesharing arrangements.

Courts begin with the assumption that it is best for a child to have ongoing and frequent contact with both parents. Only if the court finds that a parent poses a threat to a child’s welfare will this assumption be altered. Even where there has been abuse or neglect, courts will often impose limits on contact, such as ordering that visits be supervised, rather than cutting off all contact.